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Research Centre for Religious Studies More information


The research conducted by the Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society is organized by the Centre for Religious Studies (CRS).

Why study religion?

Religion matters in society. The CRS operates with the vision that religion plays a central role in societies around the world. The vast majority of the global population identifies as religious believers. Europe and the Netherlands meanwhile are experiencing rapid religious transformation through migration, secularisation, and the emergence of new religious movements both inside and outside of the traditional religions. In a wide range of scholarly fields there is growing awareness of the complexity and multifaceted nature of religion in the past and present.

How do we study religion?

In our research, the basic question is “how religion interacts with other elements of culture”. As part of a public university, the CRS profile is shaped by the conviction that “religion” can only be studied and understood as being embedded in “culture”. This context and the interaction with other cultural and societal elements—such as law, politics, science, art, philosophy, and economy—give “religion” its meaning and cultural place.

The study of religion thus requires a multidisciplinary approach. That is why the CRS combines theories and methods of the humanities, social sciences and even science & engineering.


According to the 2018 research evaluation report, the CRS’s research is characterized by its flexibility and its ability to react to international developments and open up new avenues. This report evaluated the quality, productivity, relevance and vitality of the research as ‘very good’ to ‘excellent’.


The board of the CRS supervises the quality of research. It issues advice to the Faculty Board, a.o. on the selection and appointment of postdocs and PhD students and the organization of seminars and conferences. It has three research departments, each focusing on their own long-term research programmes. A number of research themes and areas have been allocated to a number of research centres.

Last modified:30 June 2023 07.49 a.m.